"Welcome to the land of my people. Relax as I do while you rest your weary feet, but take care not to overstay your welcome... The last guest stole all of our dates." -Ogadi Elder
The people of Ogadi are a people who wage frequent war on one another in search of "Desert Roses". During my trip through there, my companions and I were treated like royalty and we learned much about these people.
The people of Ogadi are swart of skin and of average height and build for humans, with dark hair and eyes predominating. People in high social standing wear a substance known as kohl around their eyelids, which, I believe, is powdered lead. Warriors of both genders wear war-paints.
Some tribes, due to some quirk of birth, are entirely bald!
The people of Ogadi are of fairly diverse temperament, though I've noticed that a lot of the warriors and elders have a tendency to brag about their achievements, and a couple got pushy with my companions and I! Still, they are very kind to foreigners (except for the braggy warriors) almost to the point of pandering (my companions and I had to reject several over-enthusiastic offers for "massages" from both men and women, and poor David had to explain multiple times that he was happily married...), though this same hospitality does not extend to those of other tribes. Magic-using individuals are also likewise respected, even those of other tribes.
In pursuit of the fabled "desert roses", the people of Ogadi are ruthless and exhibit a mean streak in combat that almost puts even the most vile Calgarians to shame.
Both sexes tend to wear white clothing, with dyes and jewelry indicating social standing. One young man I interviewed told me that every member of his tribe wore jacinth stones somewhere on their body for luck in travelling. He also informed me that piercings and tattoos in different places indicate one's rank in society, or accomplishments. Here is some of what he told me about this...
- Those with both ears pierced are warriors. It is considered honorable to lose an earring in combat.
- Women with white-stained lips and rings in the cartilidge of their left ears have sorcerous powers. The same applies for men with rings in the cartilidge of their right ears and red-stained lips.
- Multiple rings in the cartilidge indicate great deeds performed with these powers.
- Those with bands going from one end of the back of their neck to the other are Necromancers.
- Men and women with rings in their navels can not have children -- they are infertile. Their midsections must always be exposed, though I don't see how that has any bearing on how one would interact with them... Vaunea and I didn't broadcast that we can't have children...
- This young fellow also told me that some have tattooed midsections to indicate that they were "robbed" of their ability to procreate. Some of the males so adorned spoke with high voices.
- Men with black bands on their lips are married. Women with black bands near their ears are married.
- Those whose tongues are dyed black are multi-lingual. Those whose tongues are pierced are known adulterers and adulteresses.
- Men with black bands near their ears are widowers. Women with black bands on their lips are widows. Half-elves with no tattoos who are writing these texts are confused.
- Women with black and white patterns on the knuckles of their fingers are priestesses. Males with black and white patterns on their fingertips are priests.
- Those with ankhs painted on their backs have come back from the dead, hopefully with the help of a priest.
- Did I mention that some tribes have undead members among their ranks? Poor David had so much trouble keeping from retching when offered food by ghouls.
- Those who have flames painted around their eyes are friends of djinn.
He told me more, but a lot of what I wrote got lost when we fell into a river on the way back to Padan. Vaunea and I recreated this from memory.
Settlements of Note Edit
Ogadi lands are in the middle of a desert. I really wish that there were more that I could say, but aside from a couple of (heavily guarded) oases scattered about, there is little else to mention.
Major Settlements Edit
Bai-Ya: This was once the site of the fortress of a bandit leader named Haifa, and the origin of many raids on fellow Ogadi and foreigners alike. When Haifa was overthrown by her youngest son, it expanded out to the coasts and is now a major port city.
Despite stories to the contrary, the people of Ogadi are pretty orderly! Elders are given the most respect, followed by warriors and like individuals, then parents, and finally all other members of society. The misconception of disorderly people comes from their conduct in combat, which, I can tell you right now, is on par with that of the berserkers of Asgardia.
Everybody I met while in Ogadi was somewhat capable of fighting, and even the blind or lame contributed to the welfare of the tribe. When asked by one of my companions why they insisted on eking out a living in such an inhospitable environment, an elder said that "long ago" the people of Ogadi were one and lived with the blessing of the djinn, until their King betrayed a djinni princess and fell under a curse. What this betrayal was, he would not say, but he speaks of tribes that find roses in the desert being redeemed in this princess' eyes and given a place at her side. What "redemption" means, I don't know.
When asked why individuals are free to leave the Desert of Ogadi, the elder scoffed and called these people "betrayers". It would appear that they do not appreciate their own journeying to other lands. Those who betray their people and return are forcibly tattooed upon their shoulders.
The people of Ogadi worship a single djinn woman that they call "The Princess of Destiny". Still, I encountered shrines to other gods scattered about for visitors. That's nice of them!
Each tribe or city is ruled by elders and their many husbands or wives share status with them. Next are the warriors and parents, with everybody else besides having the same status. The children of elders are equal to all others below their parents, and priests and sorcerers are in their own class.
Few elders walk around with less than half as much of a sense of entitlement than most nobles from "civilized" lands do, owing to their humble childhoods. Wish they'd practice this in Ivria...
There are no true "laws" among the tribes, though they prefer to follow those set down by the djinn they worship. Naturally there is the addition of a law that prohibits the harming of djinn under pain of death. Efreeti and other types of genies are exempt from this law. Most djinn do not exploit this law.
Foreigners are treated with special respect, and become the center of attention in any encampment or city. Still, they are bound to the same laws that elders are, and those in violation of trust will be kicked out.
Many types of adventurers come from the Desert of Ogadi. Some tribes and cities tend to produce more of one class than others, but in general each is valued for its contributions to life in a desert and so respected.
Noteworthy Individuals Edit
- Aamina was the legendary daughter of a wealthy merchant, who befriended a djinn and wished for the land near Thu Vara to grow lush. Dwarves now live in a forest named in her honor by the nymph who inhabits it.
- Haifa was a bandit leader of Ogadi and Thu Varan blood, who assumed control of many tribes in her lifetime. These people now inhabit the city of Bai-Ya on the southeastern coasts near Thu Vara, and more or less follow Thu Varan laws.
- Ilyas is a travelling merchant who has gained some notoriety in recent years for selling cursed items.
- Mas'ud was an Ogadi tribesman who was blown away from his people and landed in Asgardia, where he aided these strange people against the giants. He was given a hero's funeral by his new friends when he died of old age at seventy-six.